Speak Out A 04/18/02

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Doctors and kindness

WHAT AN irony to read on the front page of Sunday's Missourian about Cape doctors who are not accepting Medicare patients. I know of two people who have been refused by Cape doctors just recently. And then just below that article was another one reminding us that in May there will be Random Acts of Kindness week. Isn't that interesting?

Medicare perspective

REGARDING SUNDAY'S article about Medicare aches and pains: People ought to start thinking, when they're young, about their older years and when they're going to need more health care and start preparing for it. Just because you have birthdays doesn't mean someone else is going to pay your bills. That's a responsibility you have to start thinking about in the early part of your life. You are going to get old. There's nothing that has boosted doctors' income more than Medicare. I say this because I was associated with the medical profession when Medicare was voted in. At that time, they got 80 percent of their usual and customary fee. It didn't take the doctors but just a few years to raise their fees so that the 80 percent was equal to what they had charged before. Paying patients paid extra above that amount. That's when the doctors started making big money. I know that they don't like to take the cut rate. I can't say I blame them, because it's dictated to them.

Paying for doctors

I'VE BEEN reading the Southeast Missourian. Here we go again condemning Medicare and the problem with doctors. I respect and enjoy and appreciate every doctor I've had. I don't think any of them is poor. I don't know how families would ever be able to pay the medical expenses that older people have. Their kids shouldn't do it, and the majority of the people couldn't do it because the costs have gone higher and higher. My office visit just went from $42 to $70 recently. With my Medicare and my Blue Cross supplement, it's all paid. So sometimes I wonder why we keep fighting among ourselves like this. Medical costs are very high, and these families couldn't pay them without insurance and Medicare. Why would you want to condemn insurance companies or Medicare because they're the ones there to pay when families can't? Why can't they work together?

Big red letters

THERE IS a bill in Jeff City to grant driver's licenses to illegal aliens. I tend to be against this idea. But I do have one way we could make it satisfactory. If you wrote in big red letters on the front of driver's licenses, "Illegal, please arrest me," I think it would be OK to give illegal aliens a driver's license.

Good music in Jackson

I WENT to Jackson High School to hear a recital of the seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade bands. Let me tell you, they were as good as anything I've ever heard, even high school bands. I think it's a very good credit to the Jackson music department. All I have to say is bravo.

They just look young

YASSER ARAFAT is no more sending kids to be martyrs than we are sending kids to fight a war in Afghanistan. If you look at the soldiers and you're over 40, they look very young.

River consequences

YES, THE flood of 1927 did have historic consequences, as you so eloquently pointed out in an editorial. However, you didn't mention the significant consequences. Following the flood, the excessive construction of levees on the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers have made them so endangered that the environmental consequences of these ongoing failed attempts to control Mother Nature are immeasurable.

Really scary film

EEK! $100,000 for a 20-minute video to promote the university museum. That's more than twice what it cost to make "The Blair Witch Project." Admittedly, of course, this one will be a lot scarier.

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